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GA4 Essential Mode Configuration Issues and Troubleshooting

What is the problem?

When Essential Mode is configured with JENTIS and the GA4 tool the reports in this according tool are reporting strange data. Either the attribution of channels to session looks off or the count of users is higher than the count of single events (ie. “page views”) or data from essential mode is not appearing in the GA4 reports at all.

What is the solution?

The configuration of Essential Mode tags with GA4 is not an easy task and varies for each website and company. As many different requirements from a diverse group of stakeholders must work together, so the configuration is aligned with privacy and data activation needs.

The following properties of every GA4 tag that you configure (as each tag, when Essential Mode is activated for that tool, must be configured accordingly) must be carefully evaluated to guarantee correct and meaningful reports:

  • Client ID (CID) (server-side rendered):
    ⚠️ If this value is anonymized, with every single event a new “user” is identified with no consistency. With pseudonymization the value is still randomly generated but it will remain consistent for a user that JENTIS identifies. Please select the correct setting for your configuration with great care!

  • IP address override [_uip]:
    Please make sure that a syntactically correct IPv4 value is generated. Applying the JENTIS default “Anonymization” or “Pseudonymization” functions can generate values that are not exactly correct IP address ranges. In case this value must be obfuscated in your configuration, make sure to use a function that generates an IP value randomly that is in the final result a value, that is a syntacticly correct IP. Otherwise GA4 might block off the data as it might look corrupted.

  • Session ID [sid]

    Hit count / page [_s]

    First visit [_fv]

    Session count [sct]

    Session start [_ss]

    Engaged session [seg]

    Pageview count [dependency]

    All of this mentioned parameters must be handled with great care when GA4 is configured with Essential Mode. Especially when a user might activate a tag in both settings: with consent and without. For example users that activate the first pageview (without consent) immediately but very close (within seconds) also trigger the same pageview as they consent. In that scenario it must be configured correctly if the session should be restarted or it is the same session. This must align with the rest of your configuration (Client ID setting, GA4 Measurement ID and property attribution towards which you will gather data) to create meaningful reports in your GA4 setup.

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